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Ronaldo makes Spanish pledge

Real Madrid CF striker Ronaldo has been awarded Spanish citizenship, freeing up a place for another foreigner in the club's squad.

Extra place
The Brazilian international, who arrived in Spain nine years ago at the age of 20, started his nationalisation process last January and completed it this week, freeing up one of his club's three places allowed for non-European Union players under Spanish Football Federation rules. The only 'foreigners' at Madrid now are compatriots Julio Baptista and Robinho, as Roberto Carlos finished the same procedure in August.

Fitness battle
Ronaldo is recovering from an ankle ligament injury suffered in last month's 3-0 win against Club Atlético de Madrid. The 29-year-old hopes to return for the showdown with FC Barcelona on 20 November, with Madrid having already booked their place in the UEFA Champions League knockout phase with two group games to spare.